Foreign Policy Research Institute A Nation Must Think Before it Acts President Trump in Syria: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

President Trump in Syria: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

The Dayan Center

On April 7, 2018, the Asad regime used chlorine and perhaps sarin gas to kill dozens and injure hundreds in the rebel controlled Douma area of eastern Ghouta, a suburb of Damascus.[1] Seven days later, on April 14, France, the United Kingdom and the United States carried out a series of “precision strikes”[2] on three facilities used to manufacture and store the Asad regime’s chemical weapons.[3] The strikes were intended “to deter the future use of chemical weapons by holding the Syrian regime responsible for its atrocities against humanity.”[4] While defense officials emphasized that this attack was “qualitatively and quantitatively different” than the U.S. strike on the Shayrat airbase during April 2017, it appears that the latest strikes were carefully planned to avoid escalation with the Asad regime’s patrons, Russia and Iran.[5] A Pentagon spokeswoman underscored this message, stating that “our mission in Syria remains the same. It is to defeat ISIS. It is not to be involved in the civil war.

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